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"Jan van Eyck was here": How did the artist, from which the era of the Northern Renaissance began
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Brad Pitt, Angela Merkel and other famous personalities in the paintings of the artist Her Royal Majesty

“Despite the fact that I managed to develop my own style, over time I became interested in Edward Elgar’s musical variations called Enigma. And since my own artistic practice has been focused on the human face since 2010, I realized that this strange attraction was caused by the awareness of the compositions of the great composer, who dedicated a number of works to his “friends inside”. Analyzing these orchestral works, I realized one simple thing that their influence leaked into my paintings, ”says contemporary artist Colin Davidson, who painted the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and many other well-known personalities.

Colin Davidson is a contemporary Irish artist best known for his large-scale portraits, including such celebrities as actor Brad Pitt and poet Seamus Heaney. In his paintings, Davidson uses large, painterly strokes with the effect of blurring horizontally, akin to Gerhard Richter’s photographic pictures, but, nevertheless, retaining realistic color accuracy and proportions. “In most of my works, at some point a large amount of paint is applied by a spatula to create a texture, but the eyes are painted with a brush, and therefore they are more realistic,” he explained to his technique. “I decided to focus on the person when he is immersed in his thoughts, and with this some vulnerability often arises.”

Davidson’s work is multifaceted and versatile. His early works were associated with urban landscapes, created with the help of complex multi-layered strokes and strokes. But over time, the artist switched exclusively to portraits of actors, musicians, poets and writers, among whom one can recognize very famous and influential people, such as: Brian Friel, Michael Longley, Simon Callow, Sir Kenneth Brana, Duke Special, Kiaran Hinds, Paul Brady , Adrian Dunbar, Barry Douglas, Gary Lightbody, Marketa Irglova, Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan, Mark Knopfler and Bronag Gallagher are outstanding personalities, each of whom has shaped life and art for three decades.

Just imagine, Colin gave Brad Pitt his drawing lessons and drew it twice. One of these portraits was exhibited at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and was spotted by Time magazine, which suggested that the artist draw Angela Merkel for the cover of “Person of the Year” in 2015.

And for Jerusalem, he painted portraits of twelve people, which represent the difficult but colorful history of the city and its present. The “Silent Testimony” series consists of eighteen portraits of people whose lives were touched by indelible trouble. “Art can come where words and politics often cannot. It can powerfully catch what words lack, ”the opinions and thoughts that were reflected in the series of Davidson’s most powerful works, showing through large-scale and extremely intimate portraits how tragedy and unhappiness are reflected on our faces. The artist describes this series of paintings as “an emotional response, reflecting how the conflict had and continues to have a profound impact not only on eighteen people, but also on thousands of people — their families and the families of those who died, as well as on the wider community” .

His images are close to photographic, but include a noticeable pictorial bloom, which gives them increased vitality: “A lot of pictures were written about music and the characters of people woven into separate notes and phrases that can be“ listened to as a piece of music, not considering extraneous considerations ”. I found a motif that would fit the melody and structure of Elgar in one botanical arrangement that the florist Janet Brown created for me (TheFlowerRoomBelfast). It was an elaborate composition of flowers, branches and leaves in free form, which I put in my studio, observing and drawing it as if it depended, not just my life, but someone else’s. As a result, I devoted all fourteen paintings to the work of Elgar, each work is one “variant” and my personal response to the composer’s “outline”.

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